Alas! Hogenakkal falls is the perfect example where nature has bestowed the beauty in full abundance and then came human beings to spoil this beauty. This is not a single waterfall but a system of falls on Kaveri River spread over a kilometer. And these falls end up in multiple full waterfalls falling down in a beautiful gorge. However, you will be disappointed as soon as you enter the Hogenakkal town. It is dirty, filthy and as you would move on your way to the falls, you will find people washing clothes, nude males sitting here and there getting massage and place full with chips packets and alcohol bottles. If you still could keep your enthusiasm, then move ahead and you will find local drunkards sitting all the way with open bottles, playing cards and yelling at top of their voice.
Most of the waterfalls in South India are very well maintained by Village Panchayats and this phenomenon is working great for Karnataka (Shivasamudram Falls) & Kerala (Meenmutty falls). However this system completely crumbles in case of Hogenakkal falls.
- Skip it for the way it is being maintained (especially for a family outing)
- Visit it for the ultimate natural beauty (especially post monsoon when the water is in abundance)
Our trip to Hogenakkal falls
We visited the fall in December end and it still had good enough water to look attractive to us. However, water amount reduces significantly post mid January and weather too gets very hot. Also, there are almost no trees that could provide shade to the tired souls. As soon as we reached the falls, we immediately hired coracles (round boats) to reach down under the fall.
Coracle ride is the best part of any waterfall visit in South India. They take you right under the fall where you can soak in water while boatman balances the coracle over water ripples. Thanks to the life jackets (we arranged ourselves) that we were not much worried about the boat tilting from one side to another as we came close to the fall. Coracles are used almost for everything over here and you too can shop snacks on your way from a coracle shop.
After fall, water moves through a beautiful gorge with steep walls and you will find children showcasing jumps from top of the cliff into water at a token payment.
Water from a roaring fall immediately shifts to perfect silence as it moves through the gorge between steep rock walls. It finally turns to a flowing river with lower depth and this is the place where you can take bath and play in water.
Before the main falls, there is a series of falls spread over large area and that by itself is a beautiful scenery. However be cautious if you are visiting in monsoon as water level increases to dangerous levels. Actually, fall is even closed for few days when it becomes extremely dangerous for tourists.
Fall is real fun if you want to enjoy stunning views, roaring falls, playing in water and awesome coracle rides (provided you are visiting in season – Oct to Dec).
How to reach Hogenakkal Falls
Hogenakkal falls is around 180 KMs from Bangalore and it took us close to 4.5 hours from Bangalore to reach the falls. It is recommended that you book your own vehicle as there are no direct buses from Bangalore to Hogenakkal falls.
Things to take care
- Do carry caps: It gets really hot even in Dec and there are no trees while you are down in coracle.
- Do not visit post Mid Jan: Water reduces significantly and temperature soars.
- Best time to visit Hogenakkal falls: October to December (immediately post monsoon season)
- Carry your own food: If you can survive on fish, you need not otherwise don’t forget to carry your food.
- Be cautious: It’s only water (too much during season) and rocks all around and place is prone to accidents.